Collin Sobek congratulates his dad, 2009 graduate Eric Sobek, who now works with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center. Eric completed a bachelor's in human development and family studies, one of the campuses' bachelor's degrees. A talented artist, Eric's goal is to become an art therapist after obtaining his master's and doctoral degrees. Eric and his son were highlighted on a billboard promoting the campuses.
Alumni Spotlight on Eric Sobek
When looking for the school that would help him achieve his goal of becoming an art therapist, Eric Sobek, wanted a quality education at an affordable price. Plus, he needed a schedule that was flexible enough to accommodate his work and parenting schedules, seeing as he is a single parent.
"It made sense to come here," Sobek said. "It was affordable, for one thing. Compared to bigger schools it's relatively inexpensive, and it was close. Plus, they had flexible class schedules. I was able to make the classes fit around my work schedule."
Sobek chose to study human services and family studies and earned a bachelor's degree last December. Not long after graduation, he landed a job with the Mahoning Country Educational Service Center as a job coach. Recently, he was promoted to a vocational rehabilitation coordinator and works with transition youth. In this role, he assists junior and seniors who are not planning on attending college and may have a working impediment. He helps these individuals find assistance in obtaining and keeping employment. Also, he helps low-income students with disabilities go to college attend college.
Thinking back on his education, Sobek remembers fondly a few of his teaches who helped him get to where he is today. With the small classes, it was easy for Sobek to receive help. "If it wasn't for Ms. Manchester, I would never have passed math," he said with a laugh. "She really helped make it understandable. And Dr. Toepfer was instrumental in helping me stick with this degree."
Sobek explained that a lot of his classes helped him better understand and related to his sons. "For me, being a single parent with two kids, not only did they help with my degree, they also helped me with my family. Just having this education has helped me help my kids."
Sobek, along with his two sons, Tanner and Collin, live in Columbiana. A talented artist, Sobek owns Airic Sobek Airbrushing and is known for his artwork airbrushing motorcycles, helmets and cars. While a senior, Sobek created marker renderings of Kent State University at Salem and Kent State University at East Liverpool. Each piece is displayed at the campus it depicts.